Sheldon Richman

Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

Romney, Taxes, and Dependence on Government

Low-income people aren’t the only ones dependent on government. Another group is even more dependent: the people of the corporate world who expect government to provide bailouts, guarantees, and contracts. Romney supported the financial bailout and, aside from talking vaguely about tax loopholes, does not question the pervasive system of government privilege for big business.

Friday, 14 September 2012 19:00

Deeper in the Afghan Quagmire

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has designated the Haqqani network a terrorist organization. What is the Haqqani network? Wikipedia says that it "was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan." So it was a U.S. ally when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, and it is fighting U.S. and NATO forces now that they are occupying Afghanistan.

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 06:00

Medicare Is Doomed

When Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to “end Medicare as we know it,” they are right. But Democrats do too. “Medicare as we know it” is no longer an option. It’s time for the separation of medicine and state.

Paul Ryan may be the conservative’s conservative, but understand what that means: He’s out to save the welfare/warfare state from its own intrinsic unsustainability. He’s no small-government man.

The shooting in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater has incited the usual debate over guns. One side says tighter gun restrictions could have prevented the horrible incident that night. The other responds that more guns in the hands of law-abiding people might have prevented it.

It should finally have dawned on the American people that the politicians who presume to guide the economy have no bloody idea what they’re doing. We’re long past the time when knowledge of economics was required to see that the government is impotent when it comes to creating economic recovery. If you want evidence of that impotence, just look around.

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 09:00

Are Americans Not Submissive Enough?

“I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem,” New York Times columnist David Brooks laments. “Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions.” I think Brooks is wrong, though I wish he were right.

Chief Justice John Roberts’s opinion regarding the constitutionality of ObamaCare holds that the penalty for not complying with the mandate is both a tax and not a tax — depending on the question. If the question is whether someone may sue to strike down the mandate, the court says yes, because the penalty is not a tax. However, The government argued that should the Commerce Clause argument fail, the court can think of the mandate penalty as — wait for it — a tax! 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 19:00

How to Get Money out of Politics

Watching the television pundits fret over campaign finance is amusing, because the solution to their problem is right under their noses. They just don’t want to see it.

As long as government has the power to sell privileges, people will spend big bucks to influence elections. The wealthy and well connected will always have better access to government than regular people.

The debate incited by Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to outlaw supersized sodas in New York misses an important point. In the mayor’s words, “We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things. We’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup.” (Emphasis added.)
 
There it is. He wants to forcibly interfere with other people in order to achieve his objective.

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